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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Rural Broadband Projects to Bring Economic Opportunity to Communities In Eight States


Copper Valley Wireless to Provide High Speed Internet to Cordova

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of broadband infrastructure projects to give rural residents in 8 states, including Alaska access to improved economic and educational opportunities. Funding for the projects is being provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“The broadband projects announced today will give rural Americans access to the tools they need to attract new businesses, educational opportunities and jobs,” Vilsack said. “The Obama Administration understands that bringing broadband to rural America provides a gateway for businesses and key anchor institutions – such as libraries, schools, public buildings and community centers to provide services to thousands of Americans.  These projects will create jobs building these networks, and the completed systems will provide a platform for rural economic growth for years to come.” 

In all, $150 million will be invested in 12 projects through funding made available by Congress in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  An additional $68.2 million in private investment will be provided in matching funds, bringing the total funds invested to $218.2 million. To date, $1.05 billion has been provided to construct 67 broadband projects in 30 states and one territory. 

In Alaska, Copper Valley Wireless, Inc. will receive funds for fund the Cordova Microwave Project.  In all a $1,747,796 loan and $1,747,795 grant will be used to extend middle-mile connectivity from Naked Island to Cordova. Households, businesses and community facilities are currently not served by broadband, except through satellite. In addition to over 800 households, Broadband will be made available to the Cordova schools, Prince William Sound Community College, the Coast Guard, medical center, Native Village of Eyak, the police department, State Troopers and to the public health nurse. 

Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan, grant or loan/grant agreement.

President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009.  It is designed to jumpstart the nation’s economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century.  The Act includes measures to modernize our nation’s infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need. 

More information about USDA’s Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery . More information about the Federal government’s efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov .
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